Meghan Markle shares heartfelt speech on the Black Lives Matter movement

Ruth Doherty
Photo credit: Getty Images

From Prima

Meghan Markle has given an impassioned speech to the graduating class of her former high school about the Black Lives Matter movement.

The Duchess of Sussex filmed the video at home to address the all-girl 2020 class of the Immaculate Heart high school in Los Felix in LA.

Referring to the senseless death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minnesota, she begins by saying that what is happening in their country and hometown has been "absolutely devastating".

Meghan said: "I wasn't sure what I could say to you. I wanted to say the right thing, and I was really nervous that I wouldn't or that it would get picked apart. And then I realised, the only wrong thing to say is to say nothing, because George Floyd's life mattered, Breonna Taylor's life mattered and Philando Castile's life mattered and Tamir Rice's life mattered, and so did so many other people whose names we know and those we do not know."

She continued: "So the first thing I want to say to you is that I'm sorry. I'm so sorry you have to grow up in a world where this is still present."

Meghan then recounts her memories of the 1992 LA riots, which were also triggered by a "senseless act of racism". She says she is saddened that the class has to have an understanding of this behaviour as a reality as opposed to a history lesson.

She says: "I'm sorry in a way that we haven't got the world to the place where you deserve it to be."

Meghan then says that what she also remembers about that time is how people came together, which we're also seeing right now, with people standing in solidarity and communities coming together.

She continues: "You are going to be part of that movement. I know that this is not the graduation that you envisioned, and this is not the celebration that you imagined, but I also know there is a way for us to re-frame this for you... And to see this as the beginning of you harnessing all the work, all the values, all the skills you have embodied over the last four years, and now you channel that, and all of that work gets activated.

"Now you get to be a part of rebuilding, and I know sometimes people say how many times do we need to rebuild? Well, you know what, you're going to rebuild and rebuild and rebuild until it is rebuilt. Because when the foundation is broken, so are we. You are going to lead with love, lead with compassion, you are going to use your voice more than you've ever been able to. Because most of you are 18 so you're going to vote.

"With as diverse, vibrant and opened minded as I know the teachings are at Immaculate Heart, I know you know that Black lives Matter. So I'm already excited for what you're going to do in the world. You're equipped, you're ready, we need you and you're prepared. I'm so proud to call each of you a fellow alumni, and please know I'm cheering you all along the way. I'm wishing you a huge congratulations on today, the start of the impact you're going to make in the world as the leaders we all so deeply crave. Congratulations ladies, and thank you in advance."

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